University braces for Hurricane Ida

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Amber Corb

Remaining students on campus take shelter in the LBC (Amber Corb).

Domenic Mesa, News Editor

The Tulane University administration quickly responded with a slew of emails upon learning of the ensuing strength of Hurricane Ida. In an Aug. 28 news conference, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards deemed Ida “one of the strongest hurricanes to hit anywhere in Louisiana since at least the 1850s.” 

On the same day, Aug. 28, Tulane administration sent out a school-wide update email detailing the security and preparation of Tulane facilities. 

We continue securing and preparing our community members and our facilities for Ida. This includes ensuring back-up emergency power to residence halls and other essential university buildings,” President Mike Fitts, Robin Forman, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Patrick Norton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, said.

Remaining students on campus take shelter in the LBC (Amber Corb).

A major concern of the Tulane community is the large tower crane overlooking several student residences on campus. In the Aug. 28 update, Tulane administrators provided insight into the status of the crane and its ability to withstand hurricane-force winds. 

“The tower crane at the construction site off of McAlister Way is designed to withstand sustained winds of 140 mph, far above what we are expecting. However, in an overabundance of caution, we will be moving the remaining students in Irby, Phelps, Paterson and Wall residence halls to The Commons/LBC complex for the duration of the storm,” administration said.

In an additional update posted to the Tulane University instagram page, off-campus students who feel unsafe were urged to come to the Lavin-Bernick Center prior to 8:30 AM.

Remaining students on campus take shelter in the LBC (Amber Corb).

This is the first time the LBC-Commons complex is serving as an impromptu housing arrangement for many students. 

Students in the LBC find themselves laying on any furniture that can be made available. Others find themselves laying on the ground, with nothing but a pillow and blanket. 

Many students remain on campus at this time, as the hurricane continues to move throughout Louisiana.

“Approximately 2,000 students remain in residence halls. All residence halls are secured and supplied with back-up emergency power as are other essential university buildings. Our students are still sheltered in place inside their residence halls under the watch of campus personnel. We have also distributed food to both on and off-campus students and given shelter in the LBC and meals to those who felt unsafe in their off-campus home,” Mike Strecker, assistant vice president for communications, said. “Ida’s path deviated from what forecasters had predicted as recently as yesterday morning. However, we are confident we have taken every precaution and that we will weather this storm as we have in the past.”

Tulane University Police Department and Allied Universal security officers are patrolling the campus and surrounding area at this time. Students who are currently isolated at the Hyatt Regency and Jung hotels are also being provided with food and are being cared for by a full staff.

Remaining students on campus take shelter in the LBC (Amber Corb).

Tulane will remain closed through Tuesday, Aug. 31.  

You can visit Tulane’s emergency page for more information on the university’s storm preparation and for any messages that have been released to the community.